Earlier this year, Canonical’s unveiling of their concept mobile operating system, Ubuntu for Phones, which also doubles as a full Desktop OS when the phone is docked into an appropriate display adapter – stirred some excitement in the mobile tech world. That initial excitement has since worn off. The operating system is still in it’s beta testing stage. Support is restricted to select high-end devices, and installation is a feat reserved only for the brave of heart.
Well, Canonical are at it again. This time they have decided to build the ideal phone that will run their Ubuntu Phone OS. Allow me the pleasure of introducing to you; the Ubuntu Edge.
Some points of interest:
Ubuntu Edge will not be for sale
Canonical assure us that they’re not out to compete with other phone manufacturers. Their idea is to play the role of the premium consumer-testing platform that will become the driving force for newer technology adoption in the mass market.
Your help needed
As they don’t have access to excess funds like the ‘big boys’, Canonical have decided to enlist your help via International Crowd-funding site, Indiegogo. They need to raise at least $32 million by August 21 or they get no funding.
You are offered a stake in Ubuntu Edge, ranging from Founder-membership ($20/50) to exclusive ownership ($775 up) of the actual device on launch (+ $30 for shipping outside the US and UK).
The proposed specs are out of this world: 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, Sapphire Glass screen (supposedly, can only be scratched by a diamond), (hopefully) 8-core processor chip, and silicon-anode Li-ion battery, whatever that is.
Convergence is the latest buzz-word in the mobile tech industry. What it means basically is that the Ubuntu Edge will be the first phone built specifically to dual-boot both a mobile (Android) and full, no-holds-barred Desktop (Ubuntu for Android) OS.
I am excited at the prospect of doing all my core computing with just my phone and a monitor when needed, nothing else. I will not have to experience the headache of forgetting to synchronize my files between devices all the time. And as a self-appointed prophet for Android, I also love the fact that the Ubuntu Edge will run on Android.
In fact, if I had $775 (+$30 for international shipping) to spare right now, I would gladly book myself an Ubuntu Edge. For now, I’ll settle for founder-membership.
The question remains, will Canonical be able to pull this off? Not just the funding target, but also the actual implementation of the design? I guess the enthusiasts should leave the latter part to Canonical and take the leap by donating to the campaign. As at the last time I checked the Indiegogo campaign page, they’ve managed to garner only a little above $8 million, which is quite discouraging if you ask me. It appears there are not enough Android fans out there who are also Ubuntu enthusiasts, are not excited enough or they just haven’t heard about Ubuntu Edge. But hey, it’s still just 16 days to go out of 30, anything could happen.
I should probably point out that regardless of whatever amount you pledge, if Canonical do not meet their target of $32 million by August 21, 2013, not a single dollar of the monies pledged will go to them; your account will not be charged.
The Ubuntu Edge is proposed to launch in May of 2014, just in time for the official release of Ubuntu for Phones. You can find out more about the campaign by watching the video below.